Lancashire SLC launches first project to make streets accessible
Lancashire Sight Loss Council (SLC), our latest SLC to launch in October, has carried out its first Lancashire-based project to increase the accessibility of our streets.
They invited Pendle Borough Council on a simulation spectacle (sim-spec) walk. Councillors and officers took part in the walk to raise awareness of some of the obstacles blind and partially sighted (BPS) people face.
Sim-specs are special glasses which mirror some of the various sight conditions that residents have. By using glasses, the group experienced first-hand some of the challenges and hazards that our streets present.
Ahead of the walk, SLC members shared their lived experience and highlighted some of the problems they encounter when navigating the outdoor environment. This includes uneven pavements and surfaces, pavement parking, overhanging foliage, and street furniture.
Lancashire SLC setting off with staff on the sim-spec walk
Feedback from the walk
Brian Newman, the Mayor of Pendle, joined the session. He said:
“It was very daunting being led through Nelson centre, unable to make out all the objects on the pavement.
“What really stuck in my mind was a person riding an electric bike and not being able to see or hear that it was there.”
Lloyd Sakr, Lancashire SLC member, said:
“It was great to make the mayor and local councillors aware of the barriers blind and partially sighted people face daily.
“This was a great first event and I am really looking forward to continuing our work on the built environment.”
Allison Huw, Lancashire SLC member, added:
“I am really pleased to have helped organise our first SLC event in Lancashire. Realising that I can make a difference for other people who have sight loss is very important to me.”
Kelly Barton, Engagement Manager for North West England, said:
“Lancashire SLC held its first meeting on 11 October, so it was fantastic just one month later to hold our first event.
“SLC members are keen to make a real difference in Lancashire and this was a great start. This was a successful walk and has led to our Sight Loss Council organising a second event with the council in the Colne area.”
SLC member Dawn Hewitson, walking alongside two councillors during the walk
Streets for all
Join Lancashire Sight Loss Council
Lancashire Sight Loss Council is recruiting new members who live in the local area.
If you are blind and partially sighted and want to improve services for visually impaired people in your area, we want to hear from you.
You’ll get the opportunity to create positive change for others, meet like-minded people, have a voice, feel valued, receive training, and learn or enhance your skills. Whether you’re interested in public speaking or honing your social media skills, there’s something for everyone to get involved in.
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Publication date: 12 December 2023